Why are tough-to-treat UTIs more likely to recur?

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Antibiotic resistance is becoming more and more widespread.
Antibiotic resistance is becoming more and more widespread.

If your urinary tract infection isn't responding to antibiotics, you could be headed for a fast relapse, researchers say.

In a new study of 151 adults with antibiotic-resistant UTIs, investigators found that these patients were more likely to have a relapse within a week and were more likely to be prescribed an incorrect antibiotic than a comparison group of patients with non-resistant UTIs.

Relapses are common

"This study adds to the evidence that drug-resistant bacteria are an increasing issue, even in the community and even in patients who have something seemingly uncomplicated, like a urinary tract infection," said study lead author Dr Judith Anesi. She's a clinical epidemiologist and infectious disease fellow at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

The study was published recently in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

"These drug-resistant infections are difficult to treat, and our study shows that relapses are common. This is an alarming finding, and interventions to curb antibiotic resistance are urgently needed," Anesi said in a journal news release.

If patients have antibiotic-resistant UTIs, they should be followed closely for a longer time, and patients at risk for resistant bacteria should have their urine collected and tested, the study authors suggested.

Image credit: iStock

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